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The Cardinals' Shelby Miller is not untouchable

Jul 22, 2010, 1:15 PM EDT

Brian McTaggart, Matthew Leach and Todd Zolecki of MLB.com confirm and add some more detail to my report from last night about the Cardinals’ interest in Roy Oswalt. Specifically regarding what the Cardinals may have to give up in order to get him:

The Cards’ most compelling potential trading chip for most teams would
seem to be 2009 first-round Draft pick Shelby Miller, a right-hander who
has been on a roll lately at low Class A Quad Cities. Farm director
Jeff Luhnow was given the opportunity on Wednesday to classify Miller as
untouchable, but declined to do so. He said the right-hander quite
surely would not be moved for a two-month rental player, but that for a
longer-term upgrade, any and all prospects could conceivably be in play.

There was a lot of back and forth in the Twitterverse last night about whether getting Roy Oswalt is worth Shelby Miller, especially if the Astros aren’t picking up any salary.  My take on it is this:  By the time Miller is ready to be a front line starter in the major leagues, Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday will be at or near an end and the Cardinals’ best chance to win a World Series — now — is likely gone.  Oswalt for Miller is definitely a “win-now” move, but the Cardinals are a team that has no choice but to be on a “win-now” footing.

It’s a lot of money to take on, no question, and it’s always hard to give up a top pick. But the best reasonable scenario for Shelby Miller is that he becomes another Roy Oswalt, right? At the outside? And that’s several years from now.  I pass up that bird in the bush if it means making the playoffs for the next two or three years with Albert Pujols in his prime and a rotation of Carpenter-Wainwright-Oswalt-Garcia, don’t you?

  1. Joe - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    Yes.

  2. Cheap Seat Chronicles - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    Hells Yes.

  3. Jonny5 - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    Well there’s always Haren……….. Because the Phills don’t have something like this kid to trade, but then again, there’s the whole division rival thing.. Not that the Astros can contend or anything either…. Oh boy.. That whole Lee trade is rearing it’s ugly head right now, more than ever. And what’s funny is everyone is harshing on Ruben Amaro over it, when it was clearly an upper management (beancounter) decision. Montgomery is allowing Amaro to become the Patsy for the whole Lee trade. Someone said “No GM in their right mind would trade Lee away with that salary” I think they’re right. But a beancounter would.

  4. CJ - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    Jonny5,
    I totally agree. But what you’re overlooking is while it obviously wasn’t Amaro’s call, there is a different way to handle it. If Gillick were still the Phillies’ GM, do you think he would have traded Lee, even if forced to? I doubt it. And even if he did, he’d have done it in such a way where we weren’t still talking about it, that’s for sure.

  5. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    Gillick would NEVER have given away Lee the way Amaro did. Even IF it were a decision made by ownership(Montgomery) Gillick would have been savvy enough to play the Yankees and Red Sox off each other and gotten the BEST prospects possible…not just make a trade to make it the same day as the Halladay trade. But Amaro was so short-sighted he thought keeping Lee and Halladay together for one stinking day would have been enough to be forced to keep them both, when that would not have been the case. My point of contention with the Lee trade was ALWAYS the middling prospects he got in return. If Montgomery said “TRADE LEE!” then that is fine…but get more than 3 guys not even in the Baseball America top 100. THAT I blame Ruben for 100%.

  6. CJ - Jul 22, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    My point exactly, Chris.

  7. JeterisGod - Jul 22, 2010 at 8:08 PM

    In case you didn’t know, some people – including Keith Law and others – think that Philly’s prospect Jared Cosart has the second best arm in the minors. Both Shelby Miller and Jared Cosart were ranked between 26-50 in baseball america’s top 50 mid season ranking. Philly also has Jon Singleton (another 26-50 BA ranked prospect) and some other intriguing front-of-the-rotation potential prospects such as Trevor May and Brody Colvin. I wouldn’t say “the Phills don’t have something like this kid to trade” because it’s completely inaccurate. The irony is Philadelphia actually has the best current prospect in all of baseball in Domonic Brown — he’s just not in the rumors because Houston would have to give up more than Roy Oswalt to get Brown.

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